mCubed has just released an HFX Mini HTPC case, which promises a cheap alternative to other passively cooled HTPC cases.  Unfortunately, from bit-tech’s testing it looks like they managed to get both meanings of the word cheap to apply.  While certainly less expensive that other similar cases, the use of riser cards and the inconveniently tight design mean you should read through the article carefully before running out and buying one.

“If you compare it to other passively cooled HTPCs on the market, like the Hush PC UK-E1200 or the Hoojum Cubit PCs then it is undoubtedly cheaper — if only by a few hundred pounds. Moreover by shopping around on eBay for the internal components you can knock off considerably more of that price. What you get in overall quality is not that much different from the competitors’ machines. The case is well-built, all sorts of necessary bits and bobs are included, and some aspects of it are very cleverly and well designed indeed.

On the other hand, I get the feeling that mCubed is not entirely honest with its customers. It is definitely not trying to rip people off, the price of most of its components being commensurate with their high quality. But the riser cards seem rather extravagantly priced, you need to buy a lot of “optional” extras to make for a complete kit which tots up the price, and while being squarely pitched at the consumer whose only previous experience has been to put together a generic PC, it becomes quite obvious that at least a medium level of modding skill is required to make a decent system.”

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:


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